Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to Tame Your Wild Oatmeal

Have you ever made oatmeal for a hungry three year old?

He’s eager, because he’s hungry. You’re eager, because you want him to eat healthy foods and (be honest) quit whining about being hungry.

So you whip up a batch on the stove or in the microwave. Either way is pretty quick. But you cannot serve it right away because it is hot enough to melt steel. Seriously! It is a bowl of molten beige goo. Even in the freezer it does not cool very quickly.

I have taken to using a little less water and then tossing ice cubes or frozen blueberries in the finished product. This actually works pretty well, if you are in a similar situation. But, the blueberries stain if flung around the room, so pick your audience.

How is such a mundane grain, when boiled in water, able to hold heat like that? It would take a degree in thermal engineering to invent a material with similar properties. And the opposite is true too. Have you ever tried to re-heat cold oatmeal? It takes so long you might as well make a fresh batch.

Does NASA know about this stuff?

The caveat to this is the cookie. I have found that making cookies out of oatmeal, i.e. oatmeal cookies, renders the thermal dynamic power of the substance inert.  So, less porridge, more pudge.


  1. It helps if you soak the stuff over night.

  2. My daughter got me hooked on steel cut oats, with pure maple syrup. mmmmm.

  3. My daughters eat a lot of quick oats - and put milk in their porridge, which cools it fairly quickly, but I know what you mean!

    As a child I was never one to say, "Please sir, can I 'ave some more?" Did NOT like porridge.

  4. Vince and Willow...my kids' whining would not wait for that kind of oatmeal. Ours is rolled oats to be sure. Thouhg the other kind is tastey.

    Rebecca, milk works great if your little eaters are proficient with a spoon. If they are not, it is slop-city.

  5. I, too, was going to suggest milk. Just a tad. Or cold applesauce. I love that!

  6. Oh, Applesauce!!! Now why didn't I think of that? My kids love applesauce. We serve it on pancakes instead of syrup.

  7. Hi Tracey, Welcome to my blog following! At the moment, I should be getting ready to go out, but had to check my blog and email. And now I'm distracted again by reading your post. Hard to disconnect from this computer sometimes. :)
    Anyway, I'll be back later to read some more.
    Oh, the oatmeal...I totally understand and you posed some very good questions about it. :)

  8. I use milk to cool the granddaughters oatmeal, too. But I like your suggestions. Will have to try some listed here : )

  9. you could put frozen fruit in the chopper thing, whizz, then mix into the goo.

  10. that's funny and I don't like oatmeal :-p
    What you say about the thermal dynamics is very true!